This recipe came from Sacramental Magic in a Small-Town Cafe by Peter Reinhart, who is best known for his breadmaking books. It's out of print now, but there are lots of copies for sale on Amazon. It came out in the early 1990s and was responsible for me learning how to make certain now-essential recipes in my repetoire - my black bean chili AND my carnivore's chili, my tabbouleh, my chicken salad recipe AND my favorite brownies all came from this cookbook. But like many things that were very important to us when we were younger, this cookbook doesn't see the light of day much now.
There are lots of notes attached to my copy of this recipe - I always use one drained can of lentils, but you certainly could add lentils that you cooked yourself. 2 cups of cooked lentils should be just about perfect.
And if you're wanting a vegetarian version of the soup, that's easy too - just add paprika, cayenne, black pepper and a little bit of vinegar to get the right spice balance.
2 pounds spicy sausage - not the pre-cooked kind - cut up into small pieces.
2 onions, diced
8 cloves of garlic, minced
8 cups packed fresh spinach or 2 of those little boxes of frozen chopped spinach
1 can diced tomatoes (the 28 oz size)
1 can lentils or 2 cups cooked lentils
cilantro for garnish, if you like.
In a heavy soup pot, saute the sausage until brown. Take out the sausage and add the onions and garlic - cook those until the onion is transclucent. Stir the sausages back in and add the spinach , lentils and tomatoes and let the soup simmer for ten minutes or so. Garnish each serving with cilantro, if you like.